Fifth day in a row that I took a morning walk around Tijuana before breakfast. I’ve started taking different streets each day to see if I can find my way back, and I’m proud to declare that I haven’t gotten lost once. This, for anyone who knows me, is monumental.
While walking down into a tunnel, I noticed a little boy standing on the steps, gripping the bar and not moving. As I passed him, I saw tears in his eyes. “What’s wrong?” I asked him, before quickly switching to, “Que paso?” No answer. “Donde esta tus padres?” Reluctantly, he pointed to a woman in the distance, who was beckoning for him to come down to her. He seemed scared to move. “Are you okay?” He made a sound, indicating he didn’t understand me. “Es tu madre?” He nodded. “Dame tu mano,” I said, which I HOPED was “Give me your hand,” and I reached my hand out for him to take. He looked up at me, and I said, “It’s okay.” He couldn’t have understood that phrase either, but he put his little hand in mine, and I walked him down the stairs the twenty or so feet to his mother. “Lo siento,” she said, to which I replied, “No problema.” I smiled at the boy, said “Adios” to both of them, and continued on my walk.
It was my most successful conversation in Spanish yet, and that probably includes the six years of it I took from 8th grade to college. Sad, but true.
Later during my walk, I turned down a side street to look for colorful houses or some hole-in-the-wall restaurant that I can visit on a day when I just can’t take this food anymore. A man yelled at me for trying to take a picture of his house, so I scurried along and saw a cat licking water drops off a car. It’s the first cat I’ve seen since I arrived. Dogs are everywhere, and always unleashed – even when they’re walking with their owners. That probably explains the scarcity of cats. So when I saw this one, I got unnecessarily excited. One of the biggest drawbacks to being here is missing out on all the snuggle time with my four pets back home … so I took a chance and approached the cat, and wouldn’t you know it? She was clearly feeling just as lonely as me.
Today was enema day. Honestly, it wasn’t quite as physically uncomfortable as the first time, but it was mentally just as bad – especially because one of the nurses here, Blanca, has never given an enema, so Nurse Becky brought her in to watch and assist. I mean, I have some exhibitionist tendencies, but this isn’t really what I had in mind….
Hot flashes began today, and I’m having some abrupt mood swings. I think I might be starting to feel some of the side effects to the vaccine and/or chemotherapy and/or stem cells. I keep reminding myself that this is NOTHING compared to what I would be feeling at home in the states, undergoing intense chemotherapy. Self-talk helps, to a point. Twice today, I found myself on the verge of tears, and both times, a nurse came in my room to check on my drip bags. Even with my own room, there’s not a lot of privacy here. I’m still adjusting to that.
Looking forward to the Swap Meet tomorrow. I need a change of scenery.